Here’s the original post I saw yesterday and just hadn’t gotten to, from Feministing that details a children’s book called My Beautiful Mommy. It’s all about how gret tummy tucks are. I’m not kidding. That’s for real.
Making the rounds this morning, I read this post on BlogHer (from Backpacking Dad) about how the book is kind of a hoax. So I then went to the original post about how it’s a kind of a hoax on the blog, Making Light.
Well, Making Light includes some excellent information about how the book in question appears to have been published by a vanity publisher. All the links are at Making Light re: what these are and who are the specific players. Many kudos to the blogger there for doing all that.
So – I went a bit further and googled the author of My Beautiful Mommy.
Here’s what I found:
His blog and website called Nip/Talk Radio. I never watched Nip/Tuck but it’s a riff off of that cable program.
Here’s what American Health and Beauty writes about him.
He is in Bal Harbour, Florida. My grandmother lived in Bal Harbour. I spent many vacations with her in Bal Harbour (she died when I was 23). Bal Harbour is a very nice place, or used to be, but I haven’t been there in literally decades. So – it’s just my memory. But I think it’s still more or less like that. I could be wrong.
No surprise to any readers of WLST, a book that is described like this by Newsweek:
“My Beautiful Mommy” is aimed at kids ages four to seven and features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael (a musclebound superhero type) and a girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, a nose job and breast implants. Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: “You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better.” Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.
The text doesn’t mention the breast augmentation, but the illustrations intentionally show Mom’s breasts to be fuller and higher. “I tried to skirt that issue in the text itself,” says Salzhauer. “The tummy lends itself to an easy explanation to the children: extra skin and can’t fit into your clothes. The breasts might be a stretch for a six-year-old.”
The book doesn’t explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy. Nonetheless, Mom reassures her little girl that the new nose won’t just look “different, my dear—prettier!”
is going to be a problem for me – on many, many levels.
But – keeping it to the professional level, I wanted to know, as a writer, how did an alleged vanity publication get in the hands of Newsweek? So I wrote the author:
Dear Dr. Salzhauer,
I’m a freelance writer who recently read the Newsweek article about a book you author. I recognized the publisher as a vanity publisher.
Could you please tell me how you and your book came to the attention of Newsweek magazine?
I’ve read that your book does not appear to be available on Amazon nor does it appear to have an ISBN. If that is true, how will your book be sold and how will people purchase it?
While writing this post, I actually received a response from Dr. Salzhauer and look forward to learning more about him, the book and Newsweek. Dr. Salzhauer indicated that the book’s ISBN is 13: 978-1-60131-032-3 and that it should be available through Amazon before publication.
What do you think? Of the book and Newsweek?
UDPATE: Just in case you aren’t sure how you feel about this book, please read this post at Shaping Youth. Amy does a fantastic job breaking it down.
UPDATEx2: More dads weigh in. Thank you, Dads.